News

Alison tackles cancer head-on

By James Arbuthnott

To the local sounds of The Healers and with her town by her side, Alison Stewart’s golden-red locks will fall at Lockington Lions Park this Sunday, as she stares bare-faced and bald at her breast cancer diagnosis.

She’s raising money for breast cancer research — a cause quite literally close to her heart, as she soon begins her first round of chemotherapy.

“I don’t consider myself a vain person but when I came to after my second operation, it really knocked me for six emotionally,” Ms Stewart said.

“I’ve been very upfront with the community about what I’m going through and I’m using my position to do something about it.”

Alison is asking for gold coin donations on the day and online pledges to support the cause.

And she welcomes everyone to watch her take the power back in public and, hopefully, inspire others to do the same.

“I’m in control,” she said. "I think for a lot of women it’s very personal and if more of us can speak out about it, it will make it easier.”

Alison is the second of the five girls in her family to develop breast cancer.

“Being a redhead I kind of stand out, everyone knows who I am and one of my kids is a redhead as well,” she said.

“With such fair skin you probably won’t get to see much of my bare scalp, I’ll instead don a nice scarf or hat.

“If I was a nobody who wasn’t involved in the town, I wouldn’t have this opportunity to make a difference.

“Everyone has just been so supportive and encouraging and that’s a sign of the kind of town Lockington is.”

And as the editor of Locky News for the past five years and a busy single mum, Alison knows who she stands with when things get tough.

“We just have to make the most of the positions we hold to get the greatest benefit,” she said.

“It’s a very public thing and I think it’s important that people know they’re not alone, even though it’s not talked about.”

All donations will go to National Breast Cancer Research Australia.

Cash donations will be accepted on the day and pledges to Alison’s ‘Golden Locks to Fall’ head shave can be made online at fundraise.nbcf.org.au/fundraisers/alisonstewart/golden-locks-to-fall